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Bean Recreation Ground - 3 July 2020

By Clerk to Bean Parish Council Bean Parish Council

Friday, 3 July 2020

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Bean Parish Council Contributor

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3 July 2020

Statement regarding the re-opening of Bean Recreation Ground

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms are currently closed under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. As announced by the Prime Minister on 23 June, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will able to reopen from 4 July.

Guidance published on 26th June 2020 provides owners and operators responsible for playgrounds and outdoor gyms with practical advice on how these can be reopened and managed effectively to enable their use while minimising the transmission risk of COVID-19.

Owners/operators must also ensure playground and/or exercise equipment is safe to use and that risks from damaged or defective equipment are addressed before opening. The equipment in Bean recreation ground is normally inspected weekly by a member of the Council and quarterly by an external inspector. Unfortunately, the April inspection was cancelled due to lock down and we are currently waiting for a date for the July inspection to take place.

The Guidance also states

‘Owners and operators responsible for playgrounds and outdoor gyms will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open for activity permitted by legislation, and may decide to keep these areas closed should they feel they are not able to facilitate their safe usage. It is recognised that owners and operators will require time to prepare for the safe reopening of playgrounds/outdoor gyms.’

The Parish Council has studied these guidelines very carefully and Councillors are unanimous in their decision that the Council is unable to facilitate the safe usage of Bean Recreation Ground at this time and to protect the residents of Bean the Council WILL NOT BE OPENING THE RECREATION FACILITIES ON SATURDAY 4th JULY 2020.

This decision was not taken lightly and although Bean Parish Council recognises the importance of physical, social, emotional and cognitive development opportunities for children and that outdoor gyms provide users with the opportunity to exercise and improve their physical and mental health they do not consider that those reasons outweigh the risks of transmission of COVID19 and the need to protect our community, particularly children.

The Council understands that their resolution will be a disappointment to many of you but we can assure you that this decision will be reviewed on a weekly basis in light of any new guidance and that as soon as the Council considers it safe to open the recreation ground again they will do so.

In the meantime, please continue to discourage those who choose to ignore that the facilities are closed and climb over the gate and please remember that this is a resolution of the Council and not that of the lady who kindly voluntarily opens and closes the grounds for us.

The Council would also like to remind residents that Beacon Woods Country Park has remained open to pedestrian users throughout the pandemic and is a wonderful amenity for all the family.

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Clerk to Bean Parish Council

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Bean, Dartford, Kent

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